OPEC earnings could top 1 trillion dollars by year's end, US says

OPEC earnings could top 1 trillion dollars by year's end, US says Washington  - Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries earned 642 billion dollars in oil exports during the first seven months of 2008 and are easily on pace to eclipse the total amount taken in from the previous year, the US Energy Department said Tuesday.

US slaps more sanctions on Iran

US slaps more sanctions on IranWashington  - The US government on Tuesday placed sanctions on an additional five Iranian entities accused of supporting the Islamic state's nuclear and missile activities.

The US Treasury Department said the entities served as front organizations to assist in the country's development of nuclear technology and ballistic missiles.

"These five nuclear and missile entities have been used by Iran to hide its illicit conduct and further its dangerous nuclear ambitions," said Stuart Levey, the Treasury Department's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

Pentagon meets Boeing, Northrop on tanker contract

Pentagon meets Boeing, Northrop on tanker contract Washington  - The Pentagon began meetings on Tuesday with representatives from Boeing and the rival Northrop Grumman-EADS partnership on the disputed contract to build the next generation of aerial refuellers, Pentagon and defence industry officials confirmed.

Pentagon officials are expected to clarify and answer questions from the defence firms about the draft criteria for submitting bids to win the 35-billion-dollar contract to build the 179 KC-X tankers, said Cheryl Irwin, a Pentagon spokeswoman.

Bush: Russian actions aimed at ousting Georgian government

Bush: Russian actions aimed at ousting Georgian government Washington  - US President George W Bush said Monday that Russia's assault in Georgia is a "dramatic and brutal escalation" that appears meant to topple the Georgian government.

"It now appears that an effort may be underway to depose (Georgia's) duly elected government," Bush said at the White House shortly after returning from the Olympics in Beijing.

Amnesty says sexual abuse of female inmates rampant in US prisons

Washington, Aug 11 : In its fresh report, the international human rights body the Amnesty International has said that female inmates in US jails are prone to sexual abuse by male officers. According to the report, sexual abuse is rampant, particularly those who are young or who are incarcerated for the first times.

The male officers in the US jails ask the female inmates to return sexual favours in lieu of basic facilities extended to them, and most of such instances go unreported, and if reported the offenders are simply transferred to other wards, said the Amnesty report.

Indian-origin scientist's aerial technology to calculate emissions during Olympics

Washington, Aug 10: With Beijing Olympics on a roll, a team led by an Indian-origin scientist will be using a new technology to understand how the atmosphere responds when a heavily populated region substantially curbs everyday industrial emissions.

For this purpose, scientists are conducting the "Cheju ABC Plume-Monsoon Experiment" (CAPMEX), which will include a series of flights by specially equipped unmanned aircraft known as autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (AUAVs).

Developed at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) in La Jolla, Calf, the aerial vehicles are employed with instruments that can measure smog and its effects on meteorological conditions.